Vacation 2009: Day 4: East Broad Top Railroad

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Sunday, July 26, 2009: Hustontown, Pa., to Rockhill Furnace, Pa., to Hagerstown, Md., to Hustontown, Pa.

Our first full day with Uncle Greg and Aunt Sharon was railroad day. Uncle Greg is a longtime rail fan, and he was happy to introduce us to two nearby attractions: a genuine steam railroad and a museum devoted to model railroading and historical artifacts.

Enjoying the view, East Broad Top Railroad

(Follow the link to the jump page for the story, pictures, and video.)

First stop was 18 miles north, to the twin villages of Rockhill Furnace and Orbisonia, to take an excursion on the East Broad Top Railroad. The narrow-gauge line was founded in 1856, and for 100 years its really useful engines hauled ore, lumber, coal, and passengers around this south-central Pennsylvania plateau. Shortly after it shut down, the Kovalchick family began to restore it, and it started operating as a tourist line in 1960.

Aboard Coach 8, East Broad Top RailroadS3011710

We were pulled by Engine 15 (a 2-8-2 mikado built by Baldwin in 1914 and owned by the EBTRR ever since) and rode in luxurious Coach 8 (built in 1882, owned by the Boston, Revere Beach, and Lynn, and bought by EBTRR in 1916).

Weather was a worry, so we took the earliest trip of the day, at 11 a.m. The excursion lasted a bit over an hour, taking us past open fields and farmhouses to a turnaround at a shady picnic area called Colgate Grove. (You can bring a cooler, have a picnic there, and come back on a later train.)

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After returning to the station, we were allowed to visit the caboose, and we went around the roundhouse, turntable, and shops. We couldn't figure out if one of the barns was built tilted or just wound up that way.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 29, 2009 12:21 PM.

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